If it ain’t broke, don’t fix.
That appears to be the motto for Mazda’s second-generation CX-5. The new mid-size SUV was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show and follows the same formula that has made the current model such a sales hit for the brand.
There have been a number of small improvements across the car but the styling, both inside and out, has been the main focus of the update.
It gets new-look headlights and the same ‘wing’ design feature on the front grille to mirror the evolution of Kodo design first seen on the CX-9, which also debuted Mazda’s latest suite of ‘Skyactiv’ features.
In the CX-5, the body is now 15 per cent stiffer thanks to more high-strength steel, which Mazda claims improves handling and safety.
The interior has been redesigned to give it more style, again borrowing cues from the larger CX-9, including moving the infotainment screen to the top of the dashboard for better visibility.
On a practical level, the console between the front seats has been raised and the gear selector is now higher, to make it easier for the driver to reach.
To improve visibility for the driver the front windscreen pillars have been moved back, the door-mounted rear view mirrors are smaller and the belt line of the car has been lowered.
A head-up display that includes navigation instructions is also now available, as is a 10-speaker Bose sound system; although exactly which Australian models will feature these has yet to be confirmed.
The front seats have been redesigned to make them more comfortable and supportive, while the rear seats now feature two-way adjustable recline and back-seat passengers are finally treated to air-conditioning vents.
Mazda also claims to have improved the noise suppression in the cabin, a bugbear of the current model.
However, space inside remains unchanged as the underpinnings have been carried over from the previous model.
To improve handling, the track (distance between the wheels on each side) has been widened and the centre of gravity is reportedly lower.
Another new addition is the G-Vectoring Control, which debuted on the recent Mazda3 update, that can add torque to the front wheels when turning to improve handling.
The suspension and electric power steering systems have been upgraded too for improved dynamics. The brakes are the same ventilated discs up front and solid discs at the rear but the new CX-5 features auto-hold function for the first time.
Engines remain the same four-cylinder choices as the previous model, albeit with updates for all three options – the 2.2-litre turbo diesel, 2.0- and 2.5-litre petrol units. However, Mazda is yet to reveal any power, torque or fuel economy figures.
The new CX-5 is due to go on sale in Australia in the first half of 2017.
Further specifications and pricing will be revealed closer to its local launch.